Stolen Gate with the Inscription “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work sets you free”) from Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site Now Found in Norway
The historic gate stolen from Dachau Concentration Camp by unknown persons during the night of November 1 to 2, 2014 has now been recovered by police in Bergen, Norway. The theft two years ago was the first and most serious raid on the historic set of buildings in the history of the memorial site. The act of desecration had targeted the camp gate located in the entrance building, or “Jourhaus”: a key symbol of the great suffering the camp prisoners were forced to endure.
The President of the Comité International de Dachau, General Jean-Michel Thomas, took note of this news with great satisfaction, stating, “Even though we still do not know what was behind this outrage, I offer thanks in the name of the survivors’ association for the discovery of this crime and the international concern that was shown following its perpetration.”
Dr. Gabriele Hammermann, Director of Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, was also very relieved and offered thanks to the police in Norway and Germany for their meticulous investigations. “Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, along with the survivors and their relatives, is delighted that the background to this act is now being cleared up and that this particularly symbolic relict of the concentration camp will once again be returned to the memorial following a judicial review. Of course, it will be presented to the public again once the restoration work is completed. A decision will be made together with the Stiftung Bayerische Gedenkstätten (Bavarian Memorial Foundation) regarding the placement of the gate, whether at its former location or as part of the permanent exhibition.”
The Director of the Bavarian Memorial Foundation, Karl Freller, was overjoyed at this news, and responded by saying, “It is a great relief to me that this piece of original evidence of the Nazis’ cynicism and contempt for humankind has been recovered. I congratulate the security authorities on their transnational success.“
First crematorium under restoration
Due to urgent restoration work a visit of the first crematorium isn’t possible from November 28th to December 7th, 2016.
Thank you very much for your understanding.
Video Messages on Liberation Day
As part of the 70th anniversary of liberation day, survivors tell of the suffering they had to endure while imprisoned, how they experienced the events surrounding liberation, and give some details of their life afterward in a video message.
On March 22, 1933, a few weeks after Adolf Hitler had been appointed Reich Chancellor, a concentration camp for political prisoners was set up in Dachau. This camp served as a model for all later concentration camps and as a "school of violence" for the SS men under whose command it stood. In the twelve years of its existence over 200.000 persons from all over Europe were imprisoned here and in the numerous subsidary camps. 41.500 were murdered. On April 29 1945, American troops liberated the survivors.
The Memorial Site on the grounds of the former concentration camp was established in 1965 on the initiative of and in accordance with the plans of the surviving prisoners who had joined together to form the Comité International de Dachau. The Bavarian state government provided financial support. Between 1996 and 2003 a new exhibition on the history of the Dachau concentration camp was created, following the leitmotif of the "Path of the Prisoners".